The luncheon was the culmination of the events of Alumni Weekend 2008 and featured an attendance of about 100 alumni and guests. Truett-McConnell’s eighth president, Dr. Emir Caner, brought greetings to the group and briefly shared his vision for the college, including the establishment of a World Missions Center on the campus.
The outstanding alumni awards were presented by Dr. Johnathan Gray, outgoing president of the Alumni Association. Award recipients had been chosen by the Alumni Executive Committee from nominations received from TMC alumni.
The Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2008 went to Ryan A. Bowman (class of 1994). After graduating from TMC with an Associate in Arts degree, he continued his higher education at Berry College in Rome, receiving a Bachelor of Business degree in 1996.
Bowman has been with the Chick-fil-A organization for the past 18 years, serving as a unit team member, a team leader, a temporary operator and staff member in the home office. Currently he is Senior Leadership Consultant and a member of the Leadership Development Team of Training and Development. This team is charged with championing the development of leaders throughout the organization. He has presented Chick-fil-A’s leadership and business models to many different audiences and in several countries in addition to the United States, including Romania, Thailand, Kenya and Ukraine. He states: “My life goal is to encourage others to reach their potential by using their God-given gifts for the Kingdom.”
Ryan and his wife, Beth, have been married for seven years; they have a four-year-old son, Andrew, and a one-year-old daughter, Susanna.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award for 2008 went to Katie Cooper Wyatt (class of 2006). The award is given to a person who graduated from TMC within the last 10 years. A native of nearby Murrayville, GA, Katie Cooper Wyatt came to Truett-McConnell College as a music major with a concentration in piano and a secondary field of study in vocal performance. While a freshman at TMC, she met Josh Wyatt (also a TMC student), and eventually they were married in May 2006.
Katie Wyatt continued her music education at Truett-McConnell and graduated in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. She returned to TMC to work as an admissions counselor, but in December 2007, she left TMC to pursue her dream job, the one that her four years at TMC had prepared her for. She became the choral director at Peachtree Ridge High School in Gwinnett County, where she is able to teach music every day and bond with her students.
Says Katie: “I would not be who I am today if I had not attended TMC. The many people I met there have shaped my life and have been great blessings to me. I continue to pray for TMC and thank God for allowing me to have spent four wonderful years as a student there.”